OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

July 22, 1980

Mr. Gray F. Sipiorski
District Manager
Ralston Purina Company
Route 1, Box 1248
Colby, Wisconsin 54421

Dear Mr. Sipiorski:

This is in response to your recent letter addressed to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding small town grain elevators. Please accept our apology for the delay in response.

It is true that OSHA's regulations apply equally to small grain elevator as to big grain elevators, since health and safety hazards exit in the small grain elevators as well as in the big grain elevators.

OSHA is presently in the process of preparing proposed standards covering occupational safety and health hazards in grain handling facilities. The first step in this process, which was the request for comments and information regarding the regulation of occupational safety and health hazards in grain handling facilities (copy enclosed), ended on June 30, 1980. The next step is the evaluation of the comments and information to prepare a set of proposed standards, which will be published in the Federal Register. At that time, the public may offer comments on the proposed standards. A copy of your letter, commenting on small vs. big grain elevators and on grandfathering electrical equipment for small mills, was forwarded to our Directorate of Safety Standards Programs for consideration, along with the other submitted comments.

In regard to the expense of coming into compliance with OSHA standards, Section 28 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, copy enclosed, authorizes the Small Business Administration to make loans to enable small businesses to meet OSHA standards. The OSHA booklet 2005, SBA Loans for OSHA Compliance, copy enclosed presents detailed information on these loans for employers.

Also included are the following booklets: OSHA 2252: Commenting on OSHA Standards, and OSHA 2209: OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses.

If I may of further assistance, please feel free to call or write.


John K. Barto Chief,
Division of Occupational Safety Programming